Craven Delighted To Stay

Craven Delighted To Stay widnesvikings.co.uk
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18th October 2018

As revealed exclusively to Stronghold Members, Danny Craven has become the latest player to commit his future to the Vikings until the end of 2020.

After guaranteeing his future with the club, the Vikings Media Team caught up with Danny to get his thoughts on it all...

 

Danny, you’ve committed to the Vikings until the end of 2020, give us your thoughts on guaranteeing your future?

“With the club being relegated, there was opportunities that came up elsewhere to take a look at. But I’ve been here for nine years now, and I didn’t want my future to be anywhere else but at Widnes. I want to help us get back to where we belong and I’m more than happy to be staying. 

“I’ve been through it all with this club, starting from when we had no training facilities and a handful of balls, but we’ve built the club up to be able to compete in the Super League. 

“We’ve risen up to Super League before from this league, and this is just another bump in the road we need to go through together and I’m confident we can do it with the squad that we’re building for next year.”

 

What is it about Widnes Vikings that made you want to stay with the club?

“The club has stuck by me through the years that I’ve been here, and I believe now is the time for me to do the same. 

“When I left St Helens as a kid, I was close to quitting the game altogether. People around me were getting signed by other teams and I didn’t get that opportunity at 16. 

“I went playing for another year and luckily Widnes gave me that chance to train and play when I was 17. They have given me all these opportunities, including fulfilling a dream from when I was young to play in Super League. 

“I have had opportunities to go and play elsewhere, but I honestly couldn’t see myself playing for another team. Widnes has become a huge part of mine and my family’s life, so it was a no-brainer to stay. 

“The players and staff I’ve worked with over the years have been great. There is also people inside the club, like Phil Finney and Dave Rolt for example, who have been fantastic with me so now it’s my turn to re-pay that faith.”

 

As an Academy graduate yourself, was seeing this young group of lads coming through part of the reason you wanted to stay?

“Definitely. You look at the young lads coming through at the club now, and they were probably in a similar position to myself where they had opportunities elsewhere. 

“But they have pinned their colours to the mast and it’s exciting for me to be a part of this group that are all committed to getting Widnes back into Super League. 

“I feel like the mix of the young lads and the experience and quality of the likes of Hep and Harrison is something that is exciting. The young lads will get chances this year, and if they perform well they will stay in the side, which can only be a good thing to build competition for places.”

 

Throughout your time at the club, you have shown huge versatility and played in a number of positions. Moving into 2019, are you happy being the versatile figure, or are you looking to nail down a position in the starting side next year?

“I’ve had this conversation loads of times in the past, and whilst it can help being versatile in a squad game, it’s also a hindrance at the same time. You aren’t able to build things like consistency and combinations if you aren’t playing in the same position every week.

“It goes without saying that I will play and do my best wherever I’m needed for the good of this team. But on a personal level, I want to nail down one position next year and make it my own.”

 

You have experience in the Championship during your loan spells with Halifax and Featherstone, what should we be expecting to face in 2019?

“I think the Championship is probably the strongest it’s been for as long as I can remember. You only need to look at the quality of the likes of Bradford, who have just been promoted, to see how strong it is. Then you add in the likes of Toronto, Toulouse and Halifax, plus so many more and it makes it massively competitive. 

 “From my experience, the physicality is huge, but the speed may be slightly lower than Super League. However, teams are littered with players who carry Super League experience and will make places tough to go and get a result. We need to be as professional as we can be, relish the challenge of going to these tough grounds and get the job done.

“We also have to make sure we keep our standards higher than anybody else in the division. We might not be in Super League next year, but we need to make sure that we act like one in all areas of the club. If we do that, then I’m confident we can achieve our goal of being back in Super League in 2020.”

 

Back the Vikings’ Super League Return

Widnes Vikings are currently building their squad for 2019, with the aim of immediately returning to the Super League. By signing up for 2019 Stronghold Membership, you are directly investing in the Vikings recruitment and retention budget. With 0% finance, free Junior Memberships and a host of exclusive deals, this offers one of the best value Memberships in Rugby League.

To show your support and sign up for 2019, visit the Viking Superstore, Tesco Extra, or call 0151 495 2250. Click here for more information.

A host of sponsorship opportunities are also available for 2019. To explore opportunities to associate your brand with the Vikings’ Super League return and back the bid for promotion, please email commercial@widnesvikings.co.uk or contact: 0151 495 2250.

Craven Delighted To Stay widnesvikings.co.uk